Some of MACHINE HEAD's U.S.-based fans have been wondering why the San Francisco Bay Area metal band has not yet announced a U.S. headlining tour in support of "The Blackening" — despite the fact that the album is now two and a half years old.In a posting on MACHINE HEAD's official message board, the band's guitarist Phil Demmel addressed the fans' concerns, blaming the lack of a headlining U.S. trek squarely on a timing issue. He writes: "'Blackening' Europe U.K. shows: 117; 'Blackening' U.S./Canada shows: 155. "I was wondering which support slot we should've turned down to go out and headline? LAMB OF GOD? HEAVEN & HELL? HELLYEAH? The [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem fest? METALLICA? SLAYER/MEGADETH? "Any suggestions? "We tried putting something together [around the time of the HELLYEAH tour] but could find NO bands to take out. [The HELLYEAH tour] was amazing for us in reaching new markets and fans and set us up for returning and headlining. "Timing is a huge factor in picking tours. I feel bad for the U.S. but everything we're doing is setting up what comes next. We ONLY headlined up until this record and when it came out the biggest names in metal wanted us out with them. FINALLY. If we don't take support slots we're confining ourselves to playing the SAME clubs and theatres forever. "Yeah, the setlist was pretty similar for a lot of the runs in the U.S. We had to put together songs that would be best for people who'd never seen us before. We've been better and cognizant about mixing it up this past year. That will continue. "I understand the frustration. We haven't 'forgotten' about North America. We've just been made offers that we (or ANY metal band) couldn't/wouldn't refuse. Europe/U.K. is simply more crazy for this band. In a sense, the U.S. has been the priority, raising our profile and reaching new fans via support slots was the vehicle to do this. "We've been killing ourselves (almost literally) out on the road just so we can still be a band. Things are done for a reason. We've always been one of the most fan-friendliest metal bands out there and always will be." Since the release of "The Blackening" in March of 2007, MACHINE HEAD has toured incessantly, playing more than 300 shows in support of the Grammy-nominated album. And while this three-year-long album cycle has seen MACHINE HEAD share U.S. and European stages as main support to METALLICA, SLIPKNOT, SLAYER, MARILYN MANSON and MEGADETH, headline the Jägermeister stage on the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, and headline the legendary Wacken Open Air festival to over 85,000 people, it hasn't seen them on a full-fledged headline tour, playing full-length sets. Until now. Starting January 23, 2010, "The Black Procession" will tear through Europe, alongside brethren in heaviness HATEBREED, BLEEDING THROUGH, and ALL SHALL PERISH, for what promises to be night-after-night of unbridled power! MACHINE HEAD singer/guitarist Robb Flynn says, "After three years of touring we are beyond stoked to finish this tour cycle on our own terms, with our show, our stage, our production, our control, and we're lucky enough to bring three of our favorite bands along with us, it's going to be fucking massive!!!" MACHINE HEAD have also decided to do things a little differently for the fans this time around and will be playing two or more intimate shows in 3,000-4,000-seat venues instead of the massive arena shows fans have grown accustomed to. Bassist Adam Duce adds, "Having done arenas now since 'The Black Crusade' as well as the METALLICA and SLIPKNOT tours, we thought it would be killer to give the fans a chance to have a couple different setlists, and mix things up a bit. It's gonna be fun for us to see which gems we dig up!!!" "The Black Procession" will mark the end of the touring cycle for "The Blackening", making it the ABSOLUTE last chance you'll have to catch MACHINE HEAD live before they hunker down to write their next album! So grab your tickets early, because you KNOW you don't want to miss this show! Professionally filmed video footage of MACHINE HEAD performing the song "Halo" on August 2 at the Sonisphere festival at the legendary Knebworth Park, United Kingdom can be viewed below.